NSC policy director to testify at MSA Reauthorization Listening Session

Northeast Seafood Coalition (NSC) Policy Director Vito Giacalone will testify on Monday, November 4, 2013 at the Massachusetts State House for a Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) Reauthorization Listening Session hosted by United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mark Begich, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard.

Giacalone testified in September before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources during an Oversight Hearing on the Reauthorization of MSA. There, he testified about the dramatic instability within the Northeast groundfish fishery caused by scientific unpredictability and significant swings in perceived stock abundance that have confounded fishery management and every aspect of our fishing industry and community.  The basic management strategy set forth in MSA simply places demands on science that far exceeds its capacity in the case of the Northeast groundfish fishery.

Giacalone also testified that the Northeast groundfish fishery needs flexibility that would allow regional Councils the ability to develop tools that tailor management strategies to reflect the realities of their region and their fisheries. These tools should enable management responses that account for volatility from stock assessments, and the severe social and economic costs of pretending to know the unknowable.

The Listening Session will be comprised of two panels: the first is composed of members of the fishing industry and shore-side businesses, while the second panel consists of members of the local marine science community. Giacalone will testify as a member of the first panel.

NSC is grateful to Sens. Warren and Begich for the opportunity to provide input to improve national fisheries legislation that is mindful of the realities of the Northeast groundfish fishery. We’re also appreciative for their unwavering support to provide critically needed disaster assistance to help mitigate the hardships for those directly impacted by the devastatingly low allowable catch for key groundfish stocks that were implemented on May 1, 2013.

Click here to read our press release.